Toyota joins rivals in sounding Brexit alarm bell

GENEVA • Toyota Motor Corp has added its voice to warnings about potential Brexit fallout as the deadline for an agreement on the UK’s European Union (EU) exit looms less than four weeks away.

Possible disruption to trade between Britain and the EU is Toyota’s “biggest concern”, the Japanese company’s Europe chief, Johan van Zyl, said in an interview with Bloom-berg TV at the Geneva Motor Show yesterday. BMW AG, which moved forward a planned four-week production stop to coincide with the UK leaving the EU, is also stockpiling parts, CEO Harald Krueger told reporters on the sidelines of the event.

“We’re working with several scenarios,” Krueger said. “If Brexit is delayed, we’re going to plan flexibly, delay some plans, but we’ve also stocked up our parts in case of a disruption in our supply chain.” The German company has between two days and a week’s worth of supply, depending on the part, he said.

Honda Motor Co Ltd said it would shutter its UK plant and Ford Motor Co warned of catastrophic consequences in a no-deal split from the EU, although that extreme scenario appears to be off the table for now.

“We can’t prepare any more than we have” for Brexit, BMW’s purchasing chief, Andreas Wendt, said in an interview in Geneva yesterday, adding that the German company is committed to the UK market long term.

BMW buys about €700 million (RM3.23 billion) worth of parts in the UK, compared to components worth €2 billion that it imports into the country, Wendt said. — Bloomberg